Doloris Lorraine Irwin is an extraordinary woman who has been an inspiration to many in the state of Minnesota. She has been a pillar: a youth, family, and community advocate for education, civil rights, economic development, and quality healthcare. Doloris has demonstrated her passion for nurturing and helping others through her 50-year career as a registered nurse and Minnesota citizen.
Her life journey began in 1932 in Springfield, Illinois. She was part of a loving family that grew to ten children over the years along with many extended family members. Her family was instrumental in the path that she chose for herself. Her family instilled in her the desire to always take time to share and extend a helping hand to others. At the early age of 12 she committed her life to God - a defining moment that would provide her with an infinite source of strength. When Doloris was in the 10th grade she had an opportunity to meet a visiting nurse that affirmed her decision to become a nurse.
When Doloris was still a teenager she joined the fight against discrimination and worked to ensure that civil rights were granted to all in her community. She participated in a NAACP Civil Rights Campaign in the late 1950s that led her to participate in many sit-ins and demonstrations. Her experience with the civil rights movement provided her with an unwavering faith and strength that paved the way for her to push toward her goals despite the obstacles that may have stood in the way.
In 1954 Doloris was one of the first two African Americans to have been accepted and then graduate from North Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. After her graduation Doloris married James Irwin and soon moved to Minneapolis, MN where she continued to be a change agent while raising nine children. Her commitment to education helped her successfully encourage all nine children to attend college.
Doloris continues to stay engaged and committed to the wider community after 50 years of service as Nurse Irwin. In recent years whe has been instrumental in the develoopment of several women's groups such as The Women of Distinction and The Wise Women. She worked with NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center to establish programs that help senior women stay active and continue making contributions to the community. Doloris has served on the board of directors of two cornerstone community organizations - NorthPoint and Northway.
Doloris Irwin has established a legacy that spans 70 years and is truly an inspiration to many. Her story will continue to plant seeds in others and forever provide our community with the faith and hope that is required for all to make a positive change.
~Doris and Ed Christopher, Minneapolis, MN